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Customer Discussions > biography discussion forum

I know this doesn't belong here, but I have a biography question


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Showing 1-25 of 42 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jul 2010 20:58:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jul 2010 22:30:54 BDT
monica says:
I see that on the first page of tags for this forum, a Stieg Larsson book has been approved as a biography by 9 people. Is any of those 9 willing to confess? can anyone at all explain why it's considered biography?

Answers to be submitted on a neatly-lettered post card, please. Any that amuse me will be entered in draw for a biography of Goldilocks or a novel by Richard Dawkins, winner to choose.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2010 23:40:37 BDT
gille liath says:
Sign me up for the Dawkins novel! That'd be a hoot.

Maybe you should put out a call on Fiction: 'novels by neo-atheist egomaniacs with a messiah complex...'

Goldilocks' biography, on the other hand, threatens to be lacking in incident. Or did she actually hit the drink and go on the streets after being thrown out of the Bears'?

D'you think, being so young, she might get the Fairy Godmother on board as ghost writer?

Can't help you with Stieg, I'm afraid: I have absolutely no idea who he (?) is.

Posted on 28 Jul 2010 23:58:48 BDT
gille liath says:
While we're on the subject: can you explain why there is a biography forum, and also a biographies forum? Eh?

Posted on 29 Jul 2010 13:35:15 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
There's all sorts of inconsistencies in these forums. For example, the TV series "On The Buses" has been included in the Comedy forum .... !

Posted on 29 Jul 2010 19:31:16 BDT
monica says:
Sou'Wester, you managed to get in a bus reference here! Well done. I've seen your reviews. . .I actually don't know what sort of show On The Buses is/was, but I'm glad it was you referring to it as I never remember how many 's's' in 'bus' plural.

gille, Larssen the dead Swede who wrote those Dragon Tattoo, Hornet's Nest things. I still await posts eligible for prize. . .

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jul 2010 19:39:45 BDT
gille liath says:
Meaning you're not amused? Terribly sorry, your Majesty...

Posted on 29 Jul 2010 19:55:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jul 2010 19:57:22 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Monica: You mean you have never seen "On The Buses" ? You lucky person !!! However, in consequence you will probably have missed my rather feeble attempt at wit, which serves me right for being sarcastic. "On The Buses" was a TV show from the 1960s/1970s which purported to be a comedy, though its so-called humour totally eluded this viewer! Amazingly, the b****y thing (pardon my language) is still being repeated on British TV today. If you want to know more (though heaven knows why anyone would!) it is being discussed on a thread in the Comedy forum.

Posted on 29 Jul 2010 19:57:36 BDT
monica says:
Non-amusement not the problem. How someone with a degree in philosophy can fail to grasp the meaning of an 'answer' to a 'question' is quite beyond me. There's a prize or so going elsewhere, though.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jul 2010 21:27:24 BDT
gille liath says:
D'you know, another site I have recently stopped posting on has similar issues with me. Anyway, I resent that. As a philosopher I am perfectly qualified not to grasp it (see 'Is This a Question' thread).

Don't let Sou'wester put you off OTB. It's bloody great.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jul 2010 18:59:12 BDT
monica says:
Thanks, S'Wer. Its being a 1960's British sitcom--no doubt one often referred to as 'classic'--tells me all I want to know of it.

If this question is too personal please ignore it or hurl abuse if you're in that sort of mood: How did you come by so strong an interest in public transport?

Posted on 30 Jul 2010 19:39:36 BDT
M. Dowden says:
I love On The Buses, it is funny, although it has aged quite a bit. monica as to your original point, I have seen tags for authors in the fiction section when the book was written by someone else. Someone has put Alice Sebold's memoir of her rape, 'Lucky' down as fiction, and for some films if you look at the tags on the page the actors and actresses weren't even in the film. I think some people may be a bit slap happy with their mouse button.

Posted on 30 Jul 2010 20:41:20 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
monica: If my family could see your posting they'd be shouting a deafening collective warning: I can bore for England on this and can destroy a dinner party conversation with ease! But it is nice of you to ask. To try and be brief (not easy for me on this) the fascination is in part due to being a complete nerd, but also from a semi-professional interest in how (and why) public transport systems work, particularly ones that are electrically powered. Are you still awake? To be serious, it is quite an important subject as it touches on all our lives in one way or another. Much of my involvement these days revolves around archiving transport history but I also try and support campaigns to get our public transport systems improved (heaven knows, they need to be). Then, in my spare time I go train spotting!!!!!

Posted on 31 Jul 2010 16:57:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Jul 2010 21:47:51 BDT
monica says:
M. Dowden, how idiotic. Have never gone out of my way to look at the things hence didn't know tags were abused so. One of your own popped up at me yesterday and I want to know why you tagged Red & the Black as fiction rather than 'colour theory'. And it sounds as if you have quite an interesting story about public transport yourself. . .

S'Wer, I've read that the introduction of the bicycle affected the gene pools of French villages so I'm more than willing to believe that transport affects us all in unexpected ways. Is route more important than vehicle in determining whether a transport system successful, or are they inseperable? I can see that choice of one could well depend upon choice of the other. . . What do you think is this most important factor that encourages/discourages use of pub. transport? I'm permanently irate that more people in our village don't avail of it and don't understand why they don't.

And hey, I follow biathlon and am twitted for it, so I know all about minority interests.

(edit) M. Dowden, I meant of course that loose use of tags in the way you talk about is idiotic; I know full well you're anything but. I'm very sorry if I seemed to imply otherwise.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2010 20:31:58 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
monica: Difficult to answer your query in a posting that doesn't go on for about 500 pages but here's just one illustration. Take your average English town and look at maps going back over the centuries before the early 1800s. You'll probably find the boundaries don't change much as nearly all urban dwellers had to live within walking distance of their work and whatever other facilities they used (which didn't usually amount to much). As the Industrial Revolution took hold, those constraints still remained and as more folk flocked into the towns living conditions became ever more crowded and the most appalling slums grew up. However, from the late Victorian era the arrival of cheap, efficient public transport systems - firstly suburban railways in our cities - and then electric tramways (which proliferated in nearly all our towns and cities by Edwardian times) allowed people to move away from the densely populated central areas. Natural boundaries which had been in place for centuries were swept away as our towns and cities expanded at an incredible speed. People's lives were totally transformed in consequence and that was almost entirely due to the development of public transport. That is just one very simplified example of how important - I would say criticial - public transport has been. Its role has diminished in recent times as car ownership has grown but I still think it has a very important role to play in our lives. As for your question about which is more important, vehicle or route, I would definitely say the latter. Yes, you want a decent vehicle to travel on but unless it runs where people want to travel there's not a lot of point.
P.S. Go easy on M Dowden. He's always struck me as a pleasant, sensible sort of chap in the postings I have seen .... even if he does like "On The Buses"!

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2010 21:52:03 BDT
monica says:
How fortunate that I decided to glance at this whilst waiting for something--shall read body of post later, but horrified that my post seemed to be getting at M.D. I've added PS to it to make clear what I meant. Context didn't make clear, obviously, what I meant. Thanks so much for your own PS.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2010 21:53:59 BDT
monica says:
Or else you've a fine sense of humour. . .

Posted on 1 Aug 2010 15:29:32 BDT
M. Dowden says:
monica, I didn't take offense, I knew what you meant. And Sou'Wester I'm glad to see our differences of opinion on On The Buses hasn't caused any problems. I was reading a book about how boundaries had to be walked so that each parish could lay claim to their area. Because a few centuries ago the then incumbent walked the area and missed off a piece that both parishes had been fighting for over years when the local borough councils came into being in London the boundaries about a mile from me represented the area laid down by this vicar. Because of this the respective councils fight over who has to do what, thus trying to save money, and the people living in the area have to put up with lots of problems.

Because I worked in the public transport sector my knowledge is more of dangerous practises, corruption and the misuses of public funds. To be on the safe side as it has been known for people with such information to be attacked I have had to secrete evidence with other persons, and send stuff over the net to people in other countries so that it can be held when needed. I have been followed by members of one union in the past, and have had threats of violence and what amount to death threats against me. So if anyone involved in any campaign against me reads this, that information can be publicly disseminated on every continent within hours of anything happening to me. I did warn people at the time that I was quite capable of wathcing my own back.

I know that sounded a bit paranoid, but those people who know me and have seen what has happened in the past would probably say that I am not paranoid enough.

Posted on 1 Aug 2010 17:16:12 BDT
monica says:
Sou'wester, recently I re-read a Gissing novel--The Whirlpool--that in parts is a literary illustration of what you say: the late Victorian expansion and household moves to (what were) suburbs and sense that, with new transport lines, one could have the best of both worlds. What then are the most important factors in choosing a route? I watched a great deal of the Tour de France and was reminded that towns and villages campaign heavily to be on the route which in turn makes me wonder if the same sort of thing is done by neighbourhoods wanting a bus stop (not that I think that would be an important factor).

Jeanie, M. Dowden, no wonder you've insomnia and PTSD. I've read your comments long enough to feel that you're not paranoid and you're certainly not monomaniacal on the subject. Will this be resolved in court and will your information then be made public? It must be one prolonged nightmare for you. No one should have to go through that.

Posted on 1 Aug 2010 18:49:20 BDT
M. Dowden says:
monica, hopefully it will be eventually. I must admit I haven't seen any of the Tour de France this year. We did local history when I was at school all those many years ago and it has been an interest that has stayed with me. With the expansion of the railways you can see how London has developed. Where I currently live was fields until the railway and people moving out of the centre of London, although I am only about 7 miles from the centre of town. Fom what was a small village the area grew into a town and then just another sprawling part of Greater London. From areas that tried to oppose the railways when they first appeared and where Dr Beeching imposed closures you can see how greater transport affects all of us. Last year I went to South Wales for holiday. Where we stayed was really nice, but you wouldn't have wanted to live there. Surrounded by fields on the top of a hill the winds come in quite strong, there was only a pub to the village and you had to travel about 6 miles to a local shop down dinky country lanes that would be treacherous come winter snows, also some of them I was led to believe were prone to flooding as well. There was a bus service once a week and that was all. If your car broke down you would literally be stranded.

Posted on 1 Aug 2010 19:18:57 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Sorry to hear of your troubles in the public transport sector MD; cannot claim anything as bad as you've experienced but I have encountered some real so and so's - and complete fools - within both Management and Unions. That said, it has also been my pleasure to meet really committed and concientious people at all levels within the industry and we must just hope that they are the ones who will prevail. Alas, there is nothing new about dodgy goings on; historical research often involves trawling through old company records, council minutes, departmental correspondence and newspapers right back to Victorian times. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but I find it fascinating. But if you read between the lines there are so many indicators of dubious practice: cartels, incestuous relationships between manufacturers, councils (or councillors) and providers, some of it so blatant that they would never get away with it today. And yet despite all the corruption, the incompetence and the wasted time and money, our forefathers did produce systems that - for the most part - worked to the greater benefit of the population. When we put our minds to it we can still do that today.
monica: Re wanting a bus stop, it all depends on the people. Paradoxically where I live we have people in one part of town screaming blue murder because the buses no longer go down their street, whereas a proposal to run a new bus service into another part of town is provoking equally furious opposition from residents who consider buses will bring down the tone of the neighbourhood!

Posted on 3 Aug 2010 08:57:28 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Sou'Wester, I used to know a bloke who was interested in railway crashes. He had a collection of photos and could talk for hours on them, it was very interesting. You talking about bus stops, Transport for London don't seem to know the Highway Code as they have placed bus stops in some very dodgy areas. As I come off the road I live on onto another road there is a bus stop placed right on this junction. When a bus is there no one can get out, and because the road is quite narrow that you come out of, with cars parked both sides, no one can get in.

Posted on 3 Aug 2010 09:00:18 BDT
M. Dowden says:
monica, I was just on the fiction discussion board. Whilst there I clicked on the section for helping the community. Two people had classified a printer as fiction.

Posted on 3 Aug 2010 23:18:48 BDT
M. Dowden says:
monica, I just saw you left a posting on the Red and the Black, you flatterer. I am sure I have heard something about that book and so will have to keep an eye out for it, thanks ; ).

Posted on 6 Aug 2010 19:47:11 BDT
monica says:
It rouses my indignation that people would campaign against local bus stops, jumped-up idiots, environment despoilers, etc etc grump harrumph. . .

A printer?? M. Dowden, you seem to tag a fair bit. I don't really get it, except for something specialised: If I wanted to see what amazon had in the way of studies of Old Slavonic I suppose tags might be helpful, but what is the point of a tag for 'fiction' or 'non-fiction'?

Posted on 6 Aug 2010 20:13:31 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Amazon have put the tags there so I use them. But I suppose really you know whether a book you are looking for is in one or the other section. I end up looking at a section and find myself starting to tag, so I suppose it must be some compulsion. Although I do tag things I don't use them to find things because there are too many errors made by others. If you are looking at someone's profile and they use tags, if you click on a tag on the left hand of the page it will show you how many times and what they have tagged with that keyword. They do come in handy I suppose if you are looking for works by a certain translator.
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